[The opportunity to learn Torah] can be likened to a great king who took a liking to someone wallowing in the dirt and afflicted with disease and suffering. The king gave orders to wash him and cure him, and dress him in fine clothing. He then appointed him in charge of all the ministers, gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage, along with the keys to his treasury. At the peak of this man’s glory, he saw some children playing in the dirt and was jealous of them. He promptly threw off his fine clothes and high position and sat down in the dirt to play with them. Is there any way to measure the king’s wrath?
Similarly, a person who was honored by the King of kings and given the reins of all the spiritual worlds along with the holy Torah at his disposal, and he left his learning to delve in the pleasures of the material world, will surely suffer terribly for his affront. So our Sages said, whoever can learn and doesn’t, Hashem on him terrible afflictions, and this is his just deserts, just as he forsook the Torah and considered it worthless, so will he be forsaken and considered worthless.